Love in Care and Hard to Place Children

Love in Care.
In a recent blog, Jonathon Stanley quotes a Canadian Minister of Child Welfare whose comment ‘We can’t legislate for love’, was met with ‘No, but you can legislate the conditions in which love can happen’, highlights the challenges some homes experience in incorporating love into practice. Is the word ‘love’ a substitute for ‘care’, ‘support’ or ‘attachment’, to help homes feel more comfortable about giving and receiving? Or is it something distinctly different? The Independent Care Review of Scotland’s care system – entitled ‘The Promise’- has the ambition that children in care can say‘ We grow up loved, safe, and respected ‘. It is highly likely that the this will be a significant theme in the English Care review.
CHQ will be running a training session to help managers and staff consider ways of incorporating love into their practice and evidencing the impact on children’s progress and outcomes. For more information and to book your space, click here.

Placements for hard to place and children with complex needs.
Two out of every five young people referred to secure children’s homes (SCHs) for welfare reasons were not offered a place, reveals new research conducted by CASCADE Cardiff University for What Works for Children’s Social Care (WWCSC). The study finds that:
• Nearly two thirds (62.7%) of young people placed in SCHs were victims of sexual exploitation,
• Older boys with challenging behaviours, young people linked to previous offending, gang association and sexually harming behaviours were more likely to be refused a SCH place
• Young people, on average, experience three new placements in the year after the referral to SCH

These findings raise some interesting considerations. Many of the children refused SCH placements will subsequently be placed in children’s homes when clearly it has not been deemed as the most appropriate place to meet their needs.
At the same time, Ofsted, in their recent blog has sought to reassure providers they will not be penalised for taking children deemed to be hard to place. They recognise that some providers may be concerned about the impact on their inspection ratings an believe this should not be a factor in their decision-making. It is hoped that the care review will consider whether the desire to achieve and maintain good and outstanding inspection ratings acts as a perverse incentive and prevents some of the most vulnerable children from accessing placements.